Regardless of if they play for the US National team or refer to them as Americans, some NBA players were actually born outside of North America, either because they have foreign fathers or because their fathers used to work outside of the country.
Some players have entered the league via NCAA so people are unaware of the fact that they haven’t been in the US for that long, and they just assume that they’re American, even wanting them to suit up and sign the Star Spangled Banner in the Olympics.
Naturally, the NBA being the best basketball league in the world, all young ballers from all over the globe hold on to the desire of making it. And today, we’re going to let you know about 10 players you didn’t know were born outside of the US. Note: We will exclude Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, as you’re all aware of them.
10. Steve Kerr
Few people are aware of the fact that the 5 time Champion and coach of the Golden State Warriors was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but spent most of his life in the USA anyway. Playing for Arizona, he made his way into the league and became one of the most iconic 6th men ever, even ‘Bailing out’ Michael Jordan with a clutch shot in the Finals.
9. Reggie Jackson
Reggie Jackson’s development has pretty much stalled and time has shown that he’s nowhere near half as good as he thinks he is. That being said, he should try his luck by representing Italy’s national team, as he was actually born in Italy, as his father was a US Soldier deployed on Italian soil.
8. Dante Exum
You may have forgotten about the fact that Dante Exum is from Australia, mostly because he’s been off the headlines due to constant injuries despite being one of the most promising prospects just a couple of years ago. Exum’s great outings with Australia’s FIBA squad made him a top 5 pick, but he’s yet to prove he can stay healthy through a full season.
7. Steven Adams
Despite coming out of Pittsburgh University, Steven Adams is actually from New Zealand. He’s the younger of 18 brothers (yes, eighteen), with most of them being rugby players. That may not come as a surprise, considering Adam’s body and strength, and the fact that he’s a fierce dog that lockdowns the paint for the Thunder.
6. Clint Capela
Clint Capela came pretty much out of nowhere and has quietly made his way to become one of the league’s top-tier big men. He’s a defensive stud, an elite rim protector and rebounder, and has even made strides as an offensive alternative for the Rockets, but what you may now know, is the fact that he was actually born in Switzerland.
5. Steve Nash
Some of you may know that Steve Nash was Canadian, but just a handful of you may know that he was actually born in South Africa. Nash was a late bloomer but completely changed the way the game was played and is one of the most prolific playmakers this game has ever seen. Could you just imagine him playing next to Jason Kidd for the USA?
4. Alex Len
Alex Len was supposed to be a surging force in the NBA, a guy that had the physique to dominate both sides of the glass as a face-up scorer and rim protector. Needless to say, he’s miserably failed to make the transition to the NBA. That being said, you may have forgotten about the fact that he’s from Ukraine, so perhaps he’d be better off going back to Europe.
3. Al Horford
We just don’t appreciate Al Horford enough. Horford is a hard-working guy whose effort may not be reflected in the stat sheet, but that does all of the little things his team needs to win. He’s a committed rebounder and defender, a crafty playmaker, an unselfish player and a versatile scorer, and he was actually born in the Dominican Republic.
2. Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing is considered by most to be the greatest player in New York Knicks history, and even though he actually played for the US at some point, he was born in Jamaica. After 12 years in the Island, he moved to the USA at the age of 12. Still, his way less talented son represents his old man’s homeland.
1. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving may think the earth is flat, but he had to make a huge travel from his native Australia to the USA. Being a sports icon of the American culture and the guy that every New Yorker wants to see take the Garden as a member of the Knicks, most of you were unaware of the fact that he was born outside of the US until now.